Volvo will start selling the world's first plug-in diesel hybrid production vehicle in the UK later this year and is improving its Volvo On Call smartphone app specifically for buyers of the V60 PHEV wagon.
Volvo On Call is a free download, and includes goodies like remote door locking, vehicle-location devices (for those times when the parking lot is just too big for you to actually find your cars) and a fuel-economy tracker. Computerized driving logs, remote cabin-temperature control and a bunch of GPS location-type features will also be part of Volvo On Call.
The V60 Plug-in Diesel Hybrid will boast a2.4-liter turbodiesel engine delivering 215 horsepower plus a 70-horsepower electric motor that can power the car by itself for as far as 32 miles. No set price has been disclosed, though it's reportedly in the painful $81,000 range. Hey, at least the app is free.
Volvo plans to make about 1,000 units of the V60 PHEV for the 2013 model year and as many as another 6,000 for the following year. In September, Volvo announce that it ahd already sold out of its model-year 2013 batch. The Swedish automaker started production of the model late last year. Volvo's press release is available below.
Volvo's award-winning mobile app, Volvo On Call, has been further enhanced for 2013 with a new design, extra features and added vehicle connectivity.
Available to download free on iPhone, Android and Windows smartphones*, the app also enables users to connect with the V60 Hybrid, the world's first plug-in diesel hybrid, which arrives in the UK later this year.
It enables users to see a wide variety of information about their car via a smartphone. Features include checking whether the car is secure (if not, users can lock the doors remotely), locating the vehicle on a map (useful if you've parked in an unfamiliar city), see fuel level, average mpg, mileage and trip meter data, plus basic maintenance details such as bulb faults, and brake fluid, oil and coolant levels.
New features include:
Enhanced driving journal. Detailed data of each trip during the last 40 days can be downloaded and stored. There is also a possibility to extract the data as an Excel file. Now allows you to see the route the car took on a map (incl. Google Street View) and gives speed/fuel consumption/battery consumption at specific time intervals.
Send destination to the car. Using the map function within the app, select a location (within 31 miles) and send the destination to the car. This will then show-up in the car's RTI system.
Outside temperature. Shows the temperature using web-based weather information at the parked location of the car.
Honk and Flash. Allows the user to activate the horn or flash the lights independently to allow easy location of the car in busy areas.
Car in motion. Shows if the car is in use.
New functions specific to V60 D6 AWD Plug-in Diesel Hybrid:
Passenger compartment preconditioning. Allows the owner to set the timer or remotely start the heating/cooling of the passenger compartment prior to the driver's journey.
Hybrid battery check. Shows the current state of charge of the battery.
Charge reminder. An alarm can be set to remind the driver to plug the vehicle in to charge.
Charge interruption warning. Shows if the power supply to charge the vehicle has been interrupted.
Volvo On Call is available as an option on all models in the Volvo range. Originally, it focussed on direct access to a call centre in the event of an accident or other emergency, along with location tracking if the vehicle was stolen. The service was extended for owners of newer cars (from Model Year 2012) with the addition of the smartphone application, which allowed continuous connectivity to the vehicle, no matter the location of the owner, or car, in relation to each other.
The app is designed to offer the owner an intuitive, easy-to-use relationship with the car from a distance. Naturally, Volvo Cars has taken appropriate steps to protect the user's privacy and the security of the system.
First launched in 2011, total downloads of the Volvo On Call app have reached 52,000, with the UK market accounting for 7%. Amongst the current features, research has shown that the most used features are the car locator and viewing the driving journal.